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Things to do in Outer Banks

Top recommendations from locals

From sightseeing to hidden gems, find out what makes the city unique with the help of the locals who know it best.
State / Provincial Park
“A sunset you'll never forget! The view is unbeatable from the top, but if you're feeling sluggish, keep driving to just south of the Dune- take a right on Soundside Drive. At the end on the right, there's a small parking area on the sound where you can dip your toes in the water and take in the sunset (But AGAIN- the view is worth it from the top!) ”
  • 107 locals recommend
Monument / Landmark
“Check out the birthplace of aviation at the location of the first flight made by the Wright Brothers! Beautiful monument and small museums to learn about the history of the remarkable determination and engineering to create the first airplane. ”
  • 62 locals recommend
Brewery
$$
“Filed this locally owned spot under “bars” as it’s one of the few places open til 2am. They also have a great variety of nightly music [nearly] year round. It’s a brewery, bar & restaurant & they’re leading the way with their “green” initiatives. Good food, a few vegetarian & vegan options. ”
  • 76 locals recommend
Aquarium
“Smaller aquarium which is nice for little kids as it’s not too overwhelming. Turtle rescue on sight. We really enjoy taking our 2 year old here on rainy days.”
  • 50 locals recommend
Lighthouse
“this is a must. take a right onto the highway 12, pass the little league ball field, take the next right, follow road all the around. ”
  • 50 locals recommend
Diner
$$
“One of the best places on the beach for lunch and dinner. Not a fancy place, so no need to dress up. They have local seafood to burgers, we always recommend something on the chalkboard! Be prepared for a wait during summer. Beer and cocktails as well. ”
  • 63 locals recommend
Theater
“Historical outdoor drama. Rather long but they have intermission and you can get wine. Summer only. ”
  • 53 locals recommend
Restaurant
$$
“Laid-back eatery in a circa-1874 former lifesaving station serving seafood, steaks, pizzas & more. Good food. Moderately priced.”
  • 50 locals recommend
Wine Bar
$$
“A wine & cheese bar with good salads and sandwiches plus small plate fare. Great staff. Nightly music on occasion. A mostly mature business crowd rather than college aged heavy drinkers. We love their take on a Caesar salad! ”
  • 51 locals recommend
Outlet Mall
“Just over the bridge is an outlet mall that has a lot of chain stores that always seem to have sales going on.”
  • 28 locals recommend
Lighthouse
“About a 15 to 30 minute drive south (traffic depending) and you’ll be at Bodie Island light house, great for photos, birding, and just getting out in nature!”
  • 32 locals recommend
Pier
“A good day at the beach if you want to try out an access other than our own. Food is available nearby (See Connor’s Market, Sam & Omies or Dune Burger!) Fun to walk out to the end of the pier, especially in the evening. ”
  • 35 locals recommend
Seafood Restaurant
$$
“Easier to get in to Tortugas during the off-season, if you are going during the summer months plan to go early, like 4:30 or 5 PM! (Or plan to wait!) Tortugas is small but mighty! Local seafood! ”
  • 38 locals recommend
Cafe
$
“Chill coffee shop using house-roasted beans also offers baked goods, bagels & free internet access.”
  • 31 locals recommend
Seafood Restaurant
$$
“Seafood & updated Southern comfort food in a cozy space with original artwork & a nautical theme.”
  • 41 locals recommend
Burger Joint
$
“Outdoor, oceanside bar has been enticing drinkers for decades. (They also serve a great breakfast!)”
  • 48 locals recommend

Top restaurants

Brewery
“Filed this locally owned spot under “bars” as it’s one of the few places open til 2am. They also have a great variety of nightly music [nearly] year round. It’s a brewery, bar & restaurant & they’re leading the way with their “green” initiatives. Good food, a few vegetarian & vegan options. ”
  • 76 locals recommend
Diner
“One of the best places on the beach for lunch and dinner. Not a fancy place, so no need to dress up. They have local seafood to burgers, we always recommend something on the chalkboard! Be prepared for a wait during summer. Beer and cocktails as well. ”
  • 63 locals recommend
Restaurant
“Laid-back eatery in a circa-1874 former lifesaving station serving seafood, steaks, pizzas & more. Good food. Moderately priced.”
  • 50 locals recommend
Wine Bar
“A wine & cheese bar with good salads and sandwiches plus small plate fare. Great staff. Nightly music on occasion. A mostly mature business crowd rather than college aged heavy drinkers. We love their take on a Caesar salad! ”
  • 51 locals recommend
Seafood Restaurant
“Easier to get in to Tortugas during the off-season, if you are going during the summer months plan to go early, like 4:30 or 5 PM! (Or plan to wait!) Tortugas is small but mighty! Local seafood! ”
  • 38 locals recommend
Seafood Restaurant
“Seafood & updated Southern comfort food in a cozy space with original artwork & a nautical theme.”
  • 41 locals recommend
Burger Joint
“Outdoor, oceanside bar has been enticing drinkers for decades. (They also serve a great breakfast!)”
  • 48 locals recommend
Restaurant
“It gets crowded in season - come early or plan to wait. Great for families. The fish tacos are a must.”
  • 38 locals recommend

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